Special edition: elementals unleashed

As many of us expected, the newest event arrived this evening, with imps and elementals and various other creatures. I also suspect this event inspired the free mojo on the harvest orb because you should be prepared to spend a lot on this quest, especially when you’re down to the crunch next week.

This time the quest is worth it. The creatures and buildings are gorgeous.

But the rewards are worth it. Bothe levels of the challenge deliver the two highest paying buildings so far, and the artists did a hell of a job with these because both will look good wherever you put them (unlike the flutterflies’ temples which I removed as soon as I got the numbers).

The obelisk delivers 13140cp over 32 hours (411hcp) and the Obelisk delivers 15930 (498chp).

The creatures are kind of cool too, especially the flaming elementals. ngmoco:) also seems to have worked out a lot of bugs because I have experienced no crashes. Here’s how the event works:

The are nine creatures, includinng

  • Mud Imp
  • Fire imp
  • Water Imp
  • Earth Elemental
  • Fire Elemental
  • Water Elemental
  • Wind Elemental
  • Lightning Elemental
  • Composite Elemental

In the first round you need to catch one of each, but the second round is a lot tougher. You will need to catch three of each imp, and two of the mid-level elementals. (That’s 180 mojo if you use the guaranteed catch on each one.)

You will need two different spells to summon imps and elementals. The imp call takes an hour and the elemental spell takes four. You can speed them both up with mojo. Each spell calls one creature. You will receive more from other players.

The obelisk is the easiest to catch and still offers a better payoff than any building, allowing even players who finish one level to get a solid reward.

Since you have all week, you may want to try to catch the earth, fire and water elements for free, but catching the top three elementals will be tough. With enough mojo you can catch them all in a couple of hours.

The forge and composite elemental are pretty cool, and the forge pays off just under 500cp hourly. It doesn’t get much better.

If you’re just in it for the return, three thunderbirds will cost just as much mojo and you will get a higher return because you’re turning over three shops instead of one.

Good luck.

Upgrade features hint at more to come

The promised We Rule 1.6 upgrade went live late last week, with five new realms and five clearly in the waiting for release with a future upgrade. As with all upgrades, ngmoco:) isn’t profuse with details other than to tell us the realms tab is on the left and you have to touch and scroll to find the new realm.

What’s missing from their blog posts is the implication of this development. We Rule developers intend the new interface to be a gateway for the continuous addition of new kingdoms and new realms. Like the social map, gamers can access realms by scrolling further and further to the left.

The new realms can be found to the left of the current realms by scrolling the realms window.

We can also watch the leader board scores explode again. Currently four players are tied for the lead with almost 218 billion (that’s right, billion) points. (This strange identical score could be because all four players are maxed out, but the fact that we have a four way tie for fifth place makes me think there’s a problem with the calculations).

The last time ngmoco:) expanded the realms the old leaders were ousted by new leaders with new energy (and maybe more money to spend for mojo) and this may happen again. Zimidar will probably remain in the top ten as he has since the game’s release. And scores will soon jump to 300 billion because players can now pack their realms with rubies, sapphires, diamonds and high-yield items.

Currently the leader boards feature two statistically weird four-way ties: one for first and one for fifth (or second for people who don’t understand how rankings are determined).

The creeping crawl

The downside of the new realms is that adding new buildings has become a painfully slow process for those of us on first generation iPads and next to impossible for older iPhones. I was building a sample realm for the cover of the iBook release of the Grimoire and it took the server almost a minute to place one item and accept a second item of the same kind.

This will not be fixed with graphics, it really is a problem of bandwidth, server response time and the devices’ processing power. But I suspect ngmoco:) will be able to use the influx of cash from new mojo sales to add and upgrade servers.

New harvest orb

I looked on all of ngmoco:)’s sites for information about the new harvest orb but can’t find anything. Readers may have more luck.

Most will have noticed that the harvest orb can now be used for free, although they no longer deliver a 15 percent boost. What I can’t tell is whether or not this is a permanent change or a temporary move. I’m hoping it’s permanent.

The new harvest orb is now free, but provides no additional boost. Most players will make up for this by checking in more often to harvest since they won’t have to pay every time they use one.

If you regret the loss of the boost, don’t. You can still come out even, if not ahead. I suspect most players have been using the orbs as I have—harvesting from realms with the most groves and residences and harvesting manually in less lucrative realms. I had also harvested only when groves blossomed because that was when I could get the best return for using the orb.

With the free orbs I can harvest as often as I want and move the orb into even the least lucrative realms because I don’t have to buy mojo to use it. I save time and earn more, probably as much as I earned with the boosts.

What? No citadel?

Were you as surprised as I (or at least as disappointed) that our new kingdoms didn’t come with upgradable citadels in the main realm? I would have thought there would at least be an auxiliary outpost to anchor the kingdom. I’m even more surprised because ngmoco:) could have charged outrageous citadel upgrade fees which would have spurred players to use mojo to buy more items to earn the upgrade fees.

What were they thinking? Or not thinking?

New event coming?

Readers may have noticed the following on ngmoco:)’s facebook page:

Reports are flooding in from the citizens at the borders of your Kingdom. They all claim to have witnessed hulking beasts marching through the outskirts of the Realms, being led by smaller, unidentified creatures. We’ve sent Scouts to verify these reports. It’s probably nothing to worry about!

Since I haven’t seen these beasts and creatures, I have to wonder if they aren’t gearing up to another event. In the first round we collect the smaller creatures, whatever they are, and graduate to beasts. ngmoco:) has been announcing they will remove the gift cart during the next event, so this little blurb may be their second hint.

It’s possible that they earned so much on mojo from the flutterflies that they won’t need to charge mojo for the harvest orbs any more.

We can only hope.

Early Edition: Sneak release and promised update

I don’t know how many players noticed it, but ngmoco:) actually released a couple of major items with no announcement last night. I have no idea why. I simply noticed the “new content” bar and decided to check (even though quite often the new content is nothing). At the bottom of the featured items I found the Thunderbird Lair. On a whim I checked the castles and found the new azure fortress.

The thunderbird is quite electric. Similar to the phoenix he collapses for a while and then revives to take flight. He’s also a very valuable creature, the first to top five figures in combined points.

As I predicted a couple of weeks ago, the crimson dragon lair wouldn’t be the second most valuable item in player kingdoms for long. The thunderbird’s release topples all other building for return, by almost 6000cp. It also breaks the million coin price barrier, clocking in at 1,250,000c (60m).

I’d been saving up my coins for a while because I know that ngmoco:) releases a blockbuster item every three months or so, but this almost doubles previous returns. It also means even more expensive buildings in the future, but as return values rise with them they should be more affordable. More experienced players may remember the paltry 4c return every four hours for the cottages at the beginning of the game. Last I checked they were 10c every 5 minutes.

The azure fortress is even more expensive at a million and a half coins. It’s incredibly large, hiding a number of groves and fields.

The azure fortress is absolutely enormous. It’s a deeper shade of blue than earlier fortresses, although I think the dark castle was the most attractive so far. The emerald and orange fortresses were fairly pretty too.

Click to see larger image

Save those coins

ngmoco:) has announced the pending release of version 1.6, which apparently will include a new kingdom with five new realms. So start saving coins to fill those new realms (and buy them). They also promise a lot more stability.

Developers are reducing the bit depth of the graphics which will make them a lot less processor intensive. If you don’t understand, the number of bits in an image drastically increase the processing power required to render them. Since the game isn’t photorealistic the reduction in pixel depth should’t hurt the look of the game at all. In fact, they could probably do it with eight bits and still get decent results.

Finally, ngmoco:) says they will be removing the gift cart during future events, so this also means we will see more flutterflies, dragons and their offspring in the future.

It’s been a busy week so we’ll count this as Monday’s post. Hopefully the game will get more exciting and a lot less aggravating.

Last Update: Flutterflies quest complete

The flutterflies quest seems to finally be calming down, or slowing down to a crawl. I’ve noticed over the last couple of days that quite a few show up in the morning (for me) and then it’s pretty much a matter of one flutterfly for every lure planted for the rest of the day (although sometimes only one shows up after planting two).

The morning thing seems odd because I know what’s morning for me won’t be morning for the rest of the world. As I said in my last post, however, I suspect that as people succeed at the first two quests more of the rare butterflies are being released and fewer are being captured. This means fewer will be released into your kingdoms by friends.

A number of players also seem to think one player can choose who received his captured flutterflies. This is true only to a limited extent. I can only send captured flutterflies to players from a list ngmoco:) provides. The same names seem to cycle through those lists. As a consequence, Carol can send me captured flutterflies but I can’t send any to her because her name never appears in my lists. I don’t know how those lists are generated so I apologize to any players who don’t receive captured flutterflies from me.

I did finally see the peridot flutterfly (which, if you didn’t know is yellow-green) and captured it to finish the quest and unlock the grand rosy temple. The temple is as underwhelming as the grand azure temple but the payout is slightly higher.

The grand rosy temple is almost indistinguishable from the grand azure temple because the colors are so faded. And while the azure temple came with an azure flutterfly (turquoise anyway) the rosy temple comes with an opal one.

The rosy temple looks almost exactly like the grand azure temple except for the faded rose color. Maybe they will bloom into bright colors when the rental period is up. We can hope. Here are the final numbers for the quest.

Shop CP Hourly Vcp V Xp
Azure Temple 1875 78 2500 50
Grand Azure 2837 95 3850 68
Grand Rosy 4331 144 5775 102

I know the event has been frustrating for a number of players, but with four days left to go most of you should be able to finish if you keep trying. Several other players earned the final temple long before I did so I don’t think it’s out of reach if you’ve been playing since the event began.

The fact that ngmoco:) gave players a lot more time to catch only three more creatures indicates that they are trying to work the wrinkles out. I think this round showed them a lot of the wrinkles they hadn’t counted on and hopefully the next event will be a lot more fun and a lot less aggravating.

More flutterfly updates

Hopefully this will be the final update before the end of the flutterfly event. But the way things have been going it will all change again tomorrow.

Thanks to Lycopodium we have the list of creatures:

  1. Catch the flutterflies
    • Garnet
    • Amethyste
    • Jade
  2. Flutterfly expert
    • Citrine
    • Amber
    • Topaz
  3. Flutterfly master
    • Turquoise
    • Peridot
    • Opal

The Grand Azure temple, the reward for the second quest, delivers 3850cp for vendors (128 hr) and 3837 (96) for customers. It’s also really unappealing. Yes, we saw the picture in the preview splash screen but I really didn’t realize it would look that way in our kingdoms. Hopefully the last goal with deliver a real payoff.

The Grand Azure Temple may well be the ugliest building ever released into We Rule. I’m sure one of the players reading the blog can tell me what the significance is, but that won’t make it any more pretty.

If we get there, of course.

The rate of butterflies being released into my kingdoms has dwindled to nothing. This could be because players have given up sending butterflies to other players, but I’ve used mojo to accelerate my lure harvests four times and only produced four flutterflies in the process. This is quite different from the first day when the first lures I planted attracted six or seven immediately.

In addition, I’ve seen no garnet or amethyst flutterflies since I completed the expert goal. I never really expected to see the new three right away (even though I spent 10m to catch the opal earlier and got jack for it). This is the most puzzling aspect of all.

My only guess is that a lot of players on the first goal had been sending the common flutterflies to the other players, and when some players reached the expert goal they started sending the more rare ones. Now, however, most players have moved on to the expert goal (or given up altogether) and so there are no more common flutterflies being sent to fellow players.

ngmoco:) may have decided to slow the game down because so many players were succeeding so quickly. Let’s hope they don’t forget what happened last time when a number of players didn’t even get to finish the dragon goal because they never found the crystal dragon.

Sure there are five days to go, but at this point so many players are confused that I wonder how long they will bother to pursue it. If I weren’t writing this blog, I would have given up yesterday.

Let’s hope that if a lot of players are still looking for flutterflies on Monday morning ngmoco:) holds off the next new product release and extends the goal a few days for the sake of player relations.

Flutterfly event screeching to a halt?

If you find yourself growing increasingly frustrated with the new flutterflies event you aren’t alone. Not only have I not seen an opal flutterfly since I caught one for 10m only to have the game ignore the catch, I haven’t seen any of the rare flutterflies. In fact I haven’t seen many flutterflies at all.

I was told several times that I couldn’t catch any flutterflies and to come back later. Then I received four different notifications that new flutterflies had been released in my kingdom and that I should log in an receive 10 free mojo. I didn’t get any mojo and I’ve only seen three or four flutterflies since the problems began.

Nor has this improved game stability.

Please, ngmoco:), please come up with something else next time.

Special Event Sunday Update

I was hoping to have the numbers for the Grand Azure Temple by now, and I would have except….

I spent 10 mojo to use the mojo net to capture the last opal flutterfly, captured it and nothing happened. I didn’t get credit for the capture, didn’t get the grand azure temple and then, when I checked the goals list again the entire game crashed an I had to hard reboot twice to het the game to launch this time.

Then it crashed again and I had to hard reboot a third time.

I can tell you this: the six flutterflies are (from most common to most rare) garnet, azure, jade, citrine, topaz and opal. Since the three reboot crash I’ve seen at least one of every color except, of course, for opal.

After I missed the first seven the azure butterflies became easier to catch so I’m about 4 for 15.

You can catch the jade butterflies without the mojo net as well. (I’m 2 for 7).

I’m not promising you will catch them, but if you want to avoid mojo it might be worth trying.

I also figured out what made the new flutterflies so cute and appealing (as opposed to the ominous ones in the original art work). The artist really added the mascara and eye lash lengthener.

Look at those eyelashes. How can you resist this lovable creature? Isn’t he/she/it the cutest thing you ever saw?

In the meantime, cross your fingers, keep catching and I’ll let you know as soon as possible how many flutterflies you’ll need to catch for the third round.

Early Return Special Event Edition

From dragons to flutterflies

I planned to return from my sabbatical on Monday, but now seemed to be the better time. After all, ngmoco:) kept everybody waiting for a special event, moved it back from Thursday to Friday and then, at 10:30 PST (after midnight for half the country) when most of us had given up waiting and decided to party, they released the flutterflies.

Many of you may have been disappointed. Dragons seem a noble quest, flutterflies slightly less so. Had they been the ferocious turbocharged Mothra style monstrosities depicted in the early press release, players may have felt themselves up to a noble challenge.

Players may have been disappointed by the difference between the mammoth beast promised and the cute creature who finally arrived. I tracked the progress from promotional art to concept art to the final version in the game. I’m fine with it personally, but for many players I imagine it would be like ordering a Porsche online and finding a Kia in your driveway.

Maybe I’m being unkind. The reality of game design is that the more complex the creature the more pixels required to compute and redraw, the more processing power to refresh the screen with each flap of each wing. The more computations, the slower the game. On the other hand, cute butterflies wouldn’t have whipped up as much anticipation.

So the designers, developers and promotion team were faced with a dilemma, and they solved it by promising Mothra and delivering Flutter Fly. Maybe if they had the flutterfly breathe fire out of his ass instead of little butterflies, however, players would have been mollified.

Where are the rare creatures?

A number of players were frustrated on the last quest because they never spotted the crystal or crimson dragon. When those players embark on this quest I can only offer two pieces of advice:

  • Plant and harvest those lures at least as often as it takes them to mature.
  • Check in every couple of hours and capture every flutterfly that pops up even if you already caught one. You don’t have to use mojo, just keep catching them.

As with the last quest the creatures follow a pattern. The garnets are so easy to catch you don’t need the mojo net (I’m 32-2 with the free net). The amethysts are much harder to catch (I’m 0-7 without the mojo net) and the jades only show up once in every couple of dozen. I haven’t seen any of the rarer creatures but in my experience with the dragons they show up once or twice a day if you keep catching the common ones.

The amethyst temple for the first level is okay, with 1800cp for customers and about 76cp hourly.

Don’t wait to the last minute. Play now and often. Plan on using mojo for every type but the garnets. Multiples you catch in one round will not count for later levels but catch them anyway (but not with mojo).

The amethyst temple for the first level is okay, with 1800cp for customers and about 76cp hourly. This is a great deal for players at lower levels, not much use for players further up the level ladder. But the rewards will definitely improve with each new goal.

Beware of the downside to this event. If you really intend to play, your screen will fill with those little pests, and they will begin to seem like pests quickly. Even worse, all those little pests will really eat into your iPhone and iPad 1 processor, so expect a few more crashes than usual.

I’ve had to do a hard reboot on my iPad every time i wanted to play.

If you’re L65 and have all the cute crap you need, you may want to sit this one out. But if you want to play, and those temples look pretty, I would still go for it.

Special Update: Mystery Event

Players have probably noticed that ngmoco:) is promising another special event tomorrow and that the details would be available on their Facebook site. I’ve checked back all afternoon and evening for the update but all I can find is this picture of Mothra.

I’m not sure what this means, and I’m loathe to predict the emergence of Godzilla, Gamera and other famous monsters from the Japanese side of the lake. But ngmoco:)’s parent DeNA is a Japanese company so we shouldn’t be surprised if the game crosses over into Japanese nostalgia.

But this is not a prediction. Simply wild speculation with no basis in fact which I will nonetheless take full credit for should it come to pass.